Dustin is perhaps one of the best characters in Stranger Things. He's loyal, funny, and protective of his friends no matter the situation. However, he's misunderstood and stepped on a lot, here are the times where we felt terrible for him, but also the times where we wondered just what his thought process was. The Duffer Brothers' hit Netflix tv show Stranger Things has shone a light on a series of fantastic child actors. Although Gaten Matarazzo was initially a Broadway star, playing Gavroche in Les Miserables, he smashed his role as Dustin and quickly became a fan favorite.
His character is funny, loyal, and not afraid to be himself, even if it means he gets bullied for it. There are many occasions where Dustin does things that are particularly questionable but as is part of growing up, however, so do the rest of his group, namely, leaving Dustin behind on multiple occasions. Let's delve into what Dustin has done what leave you hating him and times where you feel bad for him.
10 Felt Bad: Being Bullied
There are many occasions where we see Dustin getting bullied by the same two boys. Although it doesn't seem to get to him that much it doesn't take away the fact that it is a horrible thing to do and doesn't stop fans feeling bad for him and his group.
What makes it worse is that he gets bullied for his Cleidocranial Dysplasia, which is a birth condition that Gaten himself has which is perfectly molded into his character. He is forced to perform for his bullies and is made to feel bad and insecure about his condition, something that doesn't sit well with viewers.
9 Hated Him: Bringing In Dart
From the start, as soon as you see Dart you know he's from the upside-down. It's obvious he's not from this world, so Dustins ultimately irresponsible move makes anyone want to snatch it out of his hands and get rid of it. Even if it is somewhat adorable.
His decision to keep Dart as a pet causes a considerable amount of damage and death but Dustin still refuses to give it up. It's frustrating and irresponsible of him and causes more problems than it's worth. Even if it does actually end up saving them.
8 Felt Bad: Being Left Behind
After spending the summer in Camp Know Where, Dustin returns to find life carrying on without him. His friends barely seemed to have recognized his absence now they all have girls on their mind rather than D&D and each other.
This is heartbreaking to see, especially when he was so excited about getting a girlfriend. When he finally convinced the group to come and talk to her, they all essentially left before he could get the chance, opting to be with their girlfriends rather than him. It's impossible to not feel his disappointment in this situation.
7 Hated Him: Not Telling Anyone About Dart
Although he did eventually tell everyone about it, and it did end up saving Dustin and his friends when they were helping close the gate. Telling both the group and Hopper or Joyce about Dart a little earlier would have saved a lot of drama, pain, and death.
It is particularly unlike Dustin's character and is only made worse due to him knowing this creature was from the upside-down. Ultimately, his decision to keep Dart from his friends caused more pain than it was worth and ultimately stopped the help the group would have received if he had just told someone.
6 Felt Bad: Being Rejected By Max
During the snowball, El and Mike share their first kiss, Will dances with a girl, and Lucas and Max show their true feelings for each other. Although it was clear that Max was interested in Lucas and not Dustin, the disappointment on his face breaks fans hearts.
Dustin makes such an effort in making himself 'cool' like Steve so when he gets rejected by both Max and the girl he confidently asked for a dance, his mood plummets. When Nancy dances with Dustin it is an undeniably sweet scene, but it's impossible not to feel bad for Dustin after being rejected twice in one night.
5 Hated Him: Killing Mews
It's worth noting that Dustin didn't kill his family cat on purpose, but his decision to keep Dart makes him indirectly responsible for Darts murderous actions that caused his mothers' beloved pet to die a rather gruesome death.
Surprisingly, killing his family cat wasn't even the worst thing he did. His mother was distraught that she had lost her beloved cat, and her son lied to her face that he had no idea where Mews had gone. He lied and let his mother mourn the disappearance of her cat, without being given the closure she deserves.
4 Felt Bad: When Suzie Didn't Answer
Dustin had tried so hard to convince his friends that his girlfriend was real. After he finally managed to get them to go up a huge hill just to speak to her, she doesn't answer.
Although it wasn't Suzie's fault she wasn't sitting by her 'phone' when he needed her, it only rubbed salt into an already open wound given by his friends disbelieving him and abandoning him. Poor Dustin spends most of season 3 not being believed and being completely ignored by the group, so for Suzie to let him down at that pivotal moment only increases how bad the viewers feel for him.
3 Hated Him: Putting Erica At Risk
Hate is quite a strong word when it comes to Dustin. He does everything he can to help people and is inherently kind to everyone he meets. However, this doesn't stop him from making some rather irresponsible choices.
First of all, Erica is 10. Dustin, Steve, and Robin are happy to essentially send a 10-year-old into the air vents to infiltrate a secret Russian base, on her own! He brings a young child into the group for an extremely dangerous mission that almost gets Robin and Steve killed. It's an understandable move but a really dangerous one.
2 Felt Bad: Sacrificing Himself For Mike
Another instance of Dustin being bullied. This time the bullies take it way too far and hold Dustin at knifepoint, threatening to cut his teeth out if Mike doesn't essentially jump to his death.
What makes Dustin wonderful is that he was willing to sacrifice himself to save Mike. You can't help but feel bad for him even needing to make that decision, no child should be put in that situation. However, it also serves as a scene that makes you love Dustin even more since he had no idea El would save them. It was a loyal and brave thing to do but a situation that leaves you feeling sorry for both Mike and Dustin.
1 Hated Him: Delaying Hopper And Joyce
Many fans loved the cover of Neverending Story by Suzie and Dustin in season 3, but others found it to be inconvenient at the least. If Dustin and Suzie had decided to postpone their little karaoke session for after the Mind Flayer stopped trying to kill their friends, then Murray could have got the code and everything would have been done quicker.
Meaning that perhaps, Hopper didn't have to die. Although it's undeniably a stretch to presume that, many fans feel like the song was indirectly responsible for Hopper's demise.
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